Home WORLD Facebook takes a stand on the Myanmar coup

Facebook takes a stand on the Myanmar coup

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After failing to stop hate speech and misinformation, Exacerbated the genocide In Myanmar, Facebook now says it plans to take proactive content review measures after a military coup in the country.

In an internal message released late on Monday and reviewed by BuzzFeed News, Rafael Frankel, the head of public policy in the Asia-Pacific region, told employees that social networks are watching the “turbulent situation” in Myanmar with “serious concern”. , Outlines a series of measures to combat the use of people who spread misinformation or threaten violence.

As part of these measures, Facebook has designated Myanmar as a “temporary high-risk location” for two weeks, which allows the company to delete content and incidents in the country, including “any appeal to carry weapons.” After the U.S. Capitol uprising on January 6, the social network previously applied the name to Washington, DC.

The social network once touted its efforts to protect the integrity of Myanmar’s November national election, but also said it would protect positions criticizing the military and its coup, and track reports about pages and accounts that have been hacked or taken over by the military. .

Frankel wrote: “Myanmar’s November general election is an important moment in the country’s transition to democracy, although it is not without challenges, international human rights organizations emphasized.” “This round of events reminds us of the days when Myanmar hoped for the past. And it reminds us of fundamental rights that should never be taken for granted.”

Facebook’s moves come after General Min Aung Hlaing, the head of Myanmar’s military, took control of the country’s government and detained its elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other members of her National League of Democracy (NLD) party on Monday. After the election NLD won the majority of seats In Myanmar’s parliament, opposition groups backed by the military called the result fraudulent and demanded a vote.

On Tuesday, the U.S. State Department Formally designated The military’s takeover coup in Myanmar triggered financial sanctions.

“After a review of all the facts, we have assessed that the Burmese military’s actions on February 1st, having deposed the duly elected head of government, constituted a military coup d’etat,” a State Department official said in a briefing, employing the The name used by the U.S. government to refer to the country.

In a statement to BuzzFeed News, Facebook confirmed the actions outlined in Frankel’s post and said it would remove content that praised or supported the coup.

Frankel said: “We put the safety of the people of Myanmar first and delete content that undermines our regulations on violence, hate speech and harmful misinformation.” “This includes removing misinformation that misleads the results of the November election.”

Facebook is taking action in the country, which has previously received international condemnation for its response to the displacement and genocide of Rohingya Muslims that began in 2016. In 2018, UN investigators discovered that senior military officials in Myanmar had used Facebook, and the country had not done so. There are content hosts in the country. Incite fear and spread hate speech.

UN investigators concluded: “We must independently and thoroughly investigate the extent to which Facebook posts and messages lead to discrimination in the real world.” Their report.

In a Monday post, Frankel said that Facebook is using “many product interventions used in the past during elections in Myanmar and the US to ensure that the platform is not used to spread misinformation, incite violence or coordinate harm. “

Frankel wrote that the company is working to secure the accounts of activists and journalists who are “in danger or being arrested” and delete content that threatens or demands violence against them. In view of the restrictions on the country’s news media, the company will also protect “critical information about events on the ground”.

Facebook’s work is a continuous work.On Tuesday, after receiving inquiries from the following sources, it deleted a page of the Myanmar Military Television Network Wall Street Journal.Although the company banned the Myawaddy TV network from using one page in 2018 During the repression On hundreds of accounts related to the Myanmar military, the new page reappeared and received 33,000 likes.

Facebook is often criticized for promoting the growth of violent and extremist groups and their ineffectiveness in preventing misinformation. Recently, a technology monitoring organization accused the company of inciting unrest, which led to an attempted coup in the United States.

“[Facebook] In the past year, Trump has failed to eliminate extremist activities and election-related conspiracy theories, which have angered the general public and led many people on dangerous roads. ” Said in the report.

The report exposed the specific threats that pro-Trump and militant groups faced on Facebook before and after Joe Biden’s victory in the November election.

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